(#14: 84 Days in a continuing series ‘The Teaching Life Of A Sensei’

To grasp the uncommon skills of the swordsman Tesshu, you must understand the underlying reasons for the development of martial arts. It is oversimplifying to say that the martial process is merely a means of self-defense or vanquishing a physical opponent. Look closer and you will see that the martial arts present us with the study of human conflict in its broadest definition; physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, etc.  To view karate solely as a weapon is too limiting. You need to think of your martial art as a tool. Tools build. Yes, martial art is also a weapon. And weapons dismantle. But we must not get too tangled up in semantics. Tools can also dismantle, and the results of good weapon use can build. Just be aware that there is an underlying difference in the manner and in the attitude one uses any instrument and any discipline as an extension of oneself.

       As Tesshu organized his sword techniques through years of sword discipline, he learned proper body mechanics. His organized musculo-skeletal system yielded the optimum physical results. By following these principles he became more efficient. But something else happened. He discovered that this highly re-organized body was being directed by an even higher organized rational/emotional self. For what could have organized his body to be so deadly, but his mind. The next question to ask one’s self is, ‘What organizes the mind?’

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